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Whistleblower claims to have nearly died because of illegal chemical exposure from Apple

Apple's Santa Clara operation was visited by the EPA (Source: Apple Maps)

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An ex-employee has accused Apple of exposing her to gaseous organic chemicals from a secret chip fabrication plant located near her home.

Apple fired whistleblower Ashley Gjovik in September 2021, accusing her of leaking its intellectual property. At the time, Gjovik claimed that this was the result of retaliation by Apple against people who had spoken out in the #AppleToo movement.

Also in 2021, she claimed that the Apple building where her office was situated, was built on a Superfund site. This is a previously-contaminated area, and Gjovik reported Apple to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Now in a separate case, Gjovik has said on Mastodon that she has a copy of an EPA report concerning an investigation into a tip-off regarding Apple.

"In 2020, I nearly died from mysterious industrial chemical exposure at my apartment," she wrote on Mastodon. "Later, in 2023, I discovered my employer was dumping toxic waste into the apartment windows from their Skunkworks semiconductor fab next-door."

Gjovik's post includes an annotated map showing how close her former apartment was to what she claimed was Apple's silicon fabrication operation.

"I tipped off the US EPA, who sent their env cops to raid Apple's plant in Aug of 2023," she continued. "The US EPA finally released the report of their enforcement inspections & sent me a copy on Friday."

That report and associated documentation is available, bar multiple redactions, through Gjovik's Dropbox account.

This EPA report includes descriptions of 19 potential violations of regulations by Apple at this site in Santa Clara. It appears that the majority of issues found at Apple were regarding the correct labeling and dating of items.

The most serious appears to concern a 1,700 gallon CRA hazardous waste solvent tank which was not being tracked appropriately by the relevant Resource Conservation and Recovery Act procedures.

That potential violation and a series of further ones are marked in the report as having been complied with since the inspection. About half of the potential violations are listed as "still outstanding," however.

Separately, Gjovik has previously said that despite how she was treated by the company, she would still return to Apple if asked.